The oldest wooden cross in the world


The oldest wooden cross in the world is located in Sicily, in Casteltermini, a small village in the province of Agrigento, and dates back to 2000 years ago.
The Casteltermini Cross is made of oak wood, it consists of three roughly reduced square-section trunks joined together by three hammered iron nails. It is 3.49 meters high and 2.25 meters wide and are engraved inscriptions on it.
Many studies have been carried out on the Cross and to establish the age of the discovery a sample of wood was subjected to the examination of carbon 14. From the examination it was found that the oak, of which the cross is made, was cut in the year 12 AD.
The cross was found at the current Hermitage of Santa Croce and around a legend was born when it was found. It is said that, before the foundation of Casteltermini, some grazing cows used to move away, always heading to the same point, where they knelt. The herdsman, intrigued and amazed, began to dig right at that point, finding the wooden cross. The man tried to remove it but, with great amazement, was unable to move it. It was thus decided to build a small church in that place, to build the cross: the current Hermitage of Santa Croce which still holds this priceless treasure today.
In memory of that discovery, a country festival was celebrated in the hermitage. Following the foundation of the town, the event was solemnized with the "Feast of the Holy Cross", now better known as the "Sagra del Tataratà".